NYC considering bag fee

Two weeks ago I wrote about a quick run to the grocery store where I picked up seven items that the checker packed into three plastic bags—which were then dutifully double bagged, meaning I carried seven items home in six bags.

So yesterday evening, as I was doing laundry at the laundromat down the street, I was delighted to see CBS 2 report that the New York City Council is considering legislation that would require stores to charge customers per disposable bag.

According to Weijia Jiang’s report, the charge would be 10¢, which stores would be allowed to keep (unlike Washington, D.C.’s 5¢ bag fee, which is split between stores and a fund to clean up the heavily polluted Anacostia River). Supermarkets, bodegas, street vendors, drugstores, clothing stores, and department stores would be required to charge the fee; restaurants, bags for medication at pharmacies, and liquor stores would be exempt. The fee would apply to both paper and plastic bags.

Though stores would keep the change, the city government stands benefit financially, too, by saving an estimated $10 million a year it currently spends on disposing paper and plastic bags in the city’s garbage.

The New York Post reports that the legislation has 19 cosponsors, just seven short of the 26 needed to pass it.

This is welcome—if overdue—news.

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